6th Thessaloniki International Symporium in World Affairs

"The world in 2018: Between the promise of change and the despair of new conflicts"

Also available in Deutsch, Ελληνικά

Thessaloniki International Symposium on the global challenges for the upcoming year

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6. Thessaloniki Internationales Symposium

6th Thessaloniki International Symposium in World Affairs.

For 6th year in a row, the Navarino Network, the Cultural Association of Northern Greek Entrepreneurs, and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Office Greece organized the Thessaloniki International Symposium in World Affairs. The focus of the Symposium this year shifted to the situation in Greece and Cyprus, the threat of Islamism, the relations to Russia and Turkey, as well as the further deepening of the project of the European integration. Prominent representatives from politics and the academia from around the world analyzed crucial questions in fields like economy, growth and security on regional, European and global level.

The event took place at Olympion, in the center of Thessaloniki. More than 400 guests, especially excellent young students and professionals from the region attended the conference and had the opportunity to exchange views with experts from Greece and abroad.

Welcome Remarks

Dimitris Keridis, Director of Navarino Network

Stavros Andreadis, Head of Cultural Association of Northern Greek Entrepreneurs

Yiannis Boutaris, Mayor of Thessaloniki

Norbert Beckmann-Dierkes, Acting Head of KAS Greece

The main part of the Symposium opened with the speech of Haris Georgiades, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus, who presented the lessons taught throughout the crisis in the island, as well as the measures taken by the authorities in response to the severe financial situation. The case of Greece in all its complexity was the topic of Joan Hoey, The Economist Intelligence Unit, who among others made the connection to the European and global challenges. The next issue on the table was the threat of Islamism, Alia Brahimi, Legatus Strategic Intelligence and Advisory, and James Renton, Edge Hill University analysed different aspects of it using practical and actual examples. Bhaskar Chakravorti, Tufts University shared his thoughts with the audience on how growth can be achieved through technological evolution, whereas Andreas Drymiotis, Kathimerini, elaborated on how Greece can find its way to growth in a new, digitalized era.

The next panel focused on security matters. Jamie Shea, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), presented which role NATO can play nowadays, especially in relation to its cooperation with the EU, but also towards Russia. Whether the latter can indeed be a threat to Europe, was the main point of the presentation of Laza Kekic. Wolfango Piccolli focused on the role Turkey in Southeast Europe, whereas Denis MacShane, former Minister of State for Europe of the Labour Party showed in his speech how complicated the Brexit can be and which consequences it can have both on the EU and the UK. Dr. Heribert Dieter, Free University of Berlin, analysed the scenario of a continent of more speeds and the role of the IMF was the topic of Wolfango Piccolli's second presentation. The Symposium closed with Philipp McCann, Sheffield University, in regards to the regional crises in Europe and the problems that could arise for the EU.


Eleftherios Petropoulos

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Athen, November 23, 2017